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November 2006 | Vol. V - No. 11




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Retailing Tips: Branding a Cash Cow

How to Make One Person Your Best "Niche"


“The good thing about personalizing things is that they can’t be returned.” Idanna Smith, Juggles
With additional reporting by regional correspondents Krista Lebednik and Hee Ko

If you think personalization is a drag, you might be missing a cash cow. Retailers across the country told TDmonthly Magazine how they let customers “brand” their purchases... and then lasso them back for more:
 
Make It Easy

The personalizer at Hooray Array in Northfield, Ill., presents a design book to customers from which they may choose various lettering styles, said manager Kimberly Anderson. “Our personalized items are very popular,” she told TDmonthly.


Make It Easier
Get your customers thinking about me-myself-and-I by bringing in kits containing do-it-yourself personalized craft items. “Melissa & Doug do a name plaque that has stickers,” said Natalie Reese, manager of Angel’s Toy Barn in Greensburg, Pa. “This is good for unusual names.” For the time-strapped, try ready-to-go My Name Mugs by John Hinde. “They are popular for birthdays and Christmas,” added Reese.

Make It an Event

Juggles in Wakefield, R.I., hosts paint-your-own-wooden-letters events, owner Idanna Smith shared with TDmonthly. Toys on the Square in Hummelstown, Pa., sponsors a paint-your-own-pottery studio in the store. Kilmarnock Toy Store in Kilmarnock, Va., is considering adding events in partnership with vendors, such as decorate-your-own visors, backpacks or t-shirts.

Seal the Sale

Smith personalizes everything from beach buckets to sunglasses: “anything that has a clear plastic surface,” she said.  ”The good thing about personalizing things is that they can’t be returned.”



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Terri Hughes-LazzellWriter's Bio: Terri Hughes-Lazzell is a freelance journalist based in Ossian, Ind. After spending nearly a decade as a daily newspaper reporter, she has worked as a freelance journalist for more than ten years, writing about a variety of topics. Her work appears in newspapers, magazines and specialty publications nationwide. Read more articles by this author

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